Christchurch, New Zealand

We checked into our B&B on the late side. Our hostess seemed surprised that we had brought Captain, despite being a supposedly pet-friendly place, but we talked our way through it and got him, and ourselves, settled in the room.

In the morning, after the included “breakfast” turned out to be instant coffee and cereal, we gave Captain his morning walk, then made the mistake of telling the landlady that we would be leaving him in the room to sleep while we went on a walking tour. This is common practice for us; the reason we’d booked a pet-friendly place for two nights was to give him some down time. But the landlady told us that we certainly would not, that she was not our babysitter, as if we’d asked her to do anything but keep our door closed. Our eyebrows shot up off our foreheads, but we packed Captain into his backpack and headed into Christchurch all together. The guide turned out to be pleased to have him along, and the rest of the group tolerated the occasional delay as we tried to keep him from chasing the ducks.

We started out near the cathedral and university, touring some of the architecture that survived the earthquakes. We found a couple of striking pieces of art mixed in with the more somber architecture.

The tour brought us past a lot of statues, some of which have back stories, in a mix of European and Maori styles.

There was also a good amount of street art.

Captain mostly put up with being carried with good grace, but occasionally he needed to walk and slow the group down. Also walking, a bunch of striking teachers, who were pleased that we had brought the cat out to support the cause.

One major stop was the library, where Captain turned out to be welcome as long as he stayed in the bag. The guide had brought us largely for the view from the top, which included a good view of the construction on the cathedral opposite. Apparently repairs after the earthquake had taken some time to organize, during which interim, pigeons had taken roost in the archway and left literal truckloads of poop on the floor, adding a nice touch of environmental hazard to an already expensive restoration.

A few more sights as we walked back towards the starting point…

We said goodbye to the tour guide outside the park, which Captain had a hard time believing he was not allowed to enter. He had a nice walk along the wall, though, to get out some of the ya-yas he’d been politely holding in.

He made it a good distance through the city, mostly on foot, before settling in for a well-deserved nap as the humans sat down for a late lunch.

We didn’t really feel like going back to the B&B, so we spent the next few hours exploring the downtown market area. There didn’t seem to be much else to do; while we were limited with Captain, the only things we might otherwise have done were to see a show or ride the tourist trolley. Neither felt like a great loss, versus hanging out and trying some local beers.

We did, of course, make several trips back to the car to give Captain a shot at a litterbox. He wasn’t having it, preferring to sit on top of the car. So, back out he came.

Honestly we think he had a pretty good day, aside maybe from a borderline excessive number of stops to take his picture when he’d rather be sniffing something.

As it started to get cold, we found ourselves a pet-friendly indoor dinner spot. Shout out to Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn for having good food, a great beer selection, and a great attitude towards pets in the house. (In particular, leashed pets were welcome, and unleashed pet owners were promptly brought to heel.)

When we got home, we found that the hostess had re-arranged the furniture in our room, undoing the changes we’d made to make it more cat- and suitcase-friendly. We had booked this as a kind of experiment in being more social, as opposed to our usual hotel-room isolation. But between her passive aggression, and the super fun breakfast in which the other guests did their best to bring the conversation around to how they were anti-vaccine, we were feeling pretty done with the B&B concept. So we slept our last night, and got up early to shower with the definitely-working hot water and pile back into the car before we could get sucked into another painful conversation with the classy neighbors. (How do you judge a person who gets this vanity plate? Dare we hope he’s a urologist?)

There have been a few times when we felt like we didn’t have enough time to explore somewhere. This was not one of those times; as a tourist, a day in Christchurch was plenty. Actually, half a day would have been fine; if we’d known we wouldn’t be able to leave the cat for the morning, we would have only booked one night and left the city earlier.

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